Subclass 838 Aged Dependent Visa -Offshore

Purpose of Subclass 838 Aged Dependent Relative (Class BU)

The Aged Dependent Relative visa supports the principle of family unity by allowing an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or eligible New Zealand citizen to sponsor an aged dependent relative to enter and remain in Australia permanently in the interests of family well-being and social bonding.

Cost of Subclass 838

  • Base Application Charge – AUD 4990
  • Second Instalment – AUD 2495 (Second Instalment needs to be paid before the grant of the visa.)
  • Total Fees for – AUD 7485

Location of applicant at the time of 838 Visa application

Application must be in Australia but not in immigration clearance.

*Application of an 838 visa by a person claiming to be a carer must be accompanied by satisfactory evidence that the relevant medical assessment has been sought. This evidence needs to be provided at the time of the application.

Criteria to be fulfilled at the time of the 838 Visa application

  • (A) The visa applicant should be a holder of a substantive visa other than the subclass 771 Transit Visa.


(B) The applicant who is not a holder of substantive visa immediately before ceasing to hold a substantive visa was not the holder of subclass 771 Transit Visa and the application is validly made within 12 months of the following date:

If the applicant ceased to hold a substantive visa or criminal justice visa or entered Australia unlawfully after 1st September 1994, application is lodged within 12 months of the last day when the applicant held a substantive or a criminal justice visa or the day when the applicant last entered Australia unlawfully.

If the last substantive visa was cancelled and the tribunal set aside the cancellation decision, the visa application is validly made within 12 months of the later of the day the last day when the applicant’s substantive visa ceased, and the applicant was notified that applicant had a positive review of cancellation being set aside by the tribunal.

  • The 838 visa applicant is an aged dependent relative of an Australian relative.

Who is an Australian relative?

Australian relative of an applicant is a relative who is an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen.

Who is an Aged Dependent Relative?

Aged Dependent relative is a relative of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, or an eligible New Zealand citizen who:

Does not have a spouse or a de facto partner. And

Has been dependent on and remains dependent on the Australian relative. And

Is old enough to be granted an age pension under the Social Security Act 1991.

The pension age will gradually increase from 65 to 67 years as per the following table.

Period within which a person was bornPension ageDate pension age changes
From 1 July 1952 to 31 December 195365 years and 6 months1 July 2017
From 1 January 1954 to 30 June 195566 years1 July 2019
From 1 July 1955 to 31 December 195666 years and 6 months1 July 2021
From 1 January 1957 onwards67 years1 July 2023

Who is a relative?

In case of subclass 838, a relative is defined as a grandparent, grandchild, aunt, uncle, niece or nephew, or a step-grandparent, step-grandchild, step-aunt, step-uncle, step-niece, or step-nephew, spouse or a de facto partner, child, parent, brother, sister, stepchild, stepbrother or stepsister or an Australian Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident, or an Eligible New Zealand Citizen.

How to define Dependent?

A person is dependant on other person when that person is for a substantial period wholly or substantially reliant on the other person financially for basic needs such as food, clothing, and shelter and that reliance is on that person is greater than on anybody else.


The first person is wholly or substantially reliant on the other person for financial support because the first person is incapacitated for work due to the total or partial loss of the first person’s bodily or mental functions.

Under policy specific to this provision, a reasonable period is taken to be 3 years.

  • The applicant is sponsored by the Australian relative or by their cohabiting spouse or de facto partner who has turned 18 years of age and is a settled Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident, and eligible New Zealand Citizen and usually resident in Australia.

An Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or an eligible New Zealand citizen will be considered settled if they are lawfully resident in Australia for a reasonable period.

As per policy a sponsor will be considered settled (reasonable period) in the following 3 cases.

  • If the sponsor has been lawfully resident for 2 years at the time of the 838 visa application discounting short trips outside Australia for 4 months.
  • If the sponsor is currently in Australia but has been outside Australia for more than 4 months immediately before the visa application, they must provide documentary evidence such as evidence of house ownership/ lease, evidence of ongoing employment in Australia etc.
  • If the sponsor is not in Australia for 2 years immediately before the application, they need to provide documentary evidence to establish the settled requirement.  Evidence such as house ownership in Australia and children studying in Australian schools can be provided as evidence.

A person who has never entered Australia could not be found to be usually resident in Australia as they have never established their physical presence in Australia.

Under policy, it may be accepted that the sponsor is usually resident in Australia in the absence of information that suggests otherwise if the sponsor:

  • holds a permanent visa and
  • is residing in or has previously resided in Australia.

Further Criteria to be satisfied at the time of the grant of aged dependent relative visa

  • The applicant continues to remain the aged dependent relative of the sponsoring Australian relative. Example: Aged Dependent relative has not married etc.
  • The Minister is satisfied that an assurance of support in relation to the applicant has been accepted by the Secretary of Social Services.

An AOS request letter is sent by immigration to the applicant which includes:

  • case file number.
  • names and dates of birth of all 838 visa applicants included in the application.
  • visa subclass.
  • date the 838 visa application was made.

The letter advises the visa applicant to ask the assurer to lodge an online application or take a completed paper-based application to Centrelink with the original request letter to initiate the AOS assessment.

  • The applicants must satisfy the character criteria. If you have any prior convictions or legal troubles, please contact us at Oracle Immigration Consultants to see if you are eligible for the 838 visa.
  • The applicant should not have anu outstanding commonwealth debts or should have made appropriate arrangements to pay those debts.
  • Applicants of visa must take medical assessment and satisfy the health criteria.
  • The sponsorship needs to be approved by the minister and still in force.

Location of applicant at the time of grant of Subclass 838 Visa

Applicant must be in Australia but not in immigration clearance at the time of the grant of the subclass 838 visa.

Visa Period

The applicant is granted a permanent visa for 5 years from the date of grant.

Limitations on Sponsorship

A person who holds a subclass 802 visa granted under the vulnerable child provisions or their spouse or guardian are ineligible to sponsor that subclass 802 holder parent for any parent or aged dependent visa subclasses.

You can read more about Subclass 838 on

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